Connected Objects Cycling

KADALOCK connected bike lock offers steel cable protection

Keeping one’s trusty bicycle safe and sound is often easier said than done. Even when a bike is locked up, owners can still experience tinges of doubt as nothing can truly guarantee that a locked up bicycle will remain safe from enterprising thieves.

KADALOCK is a connected bike lock which aims to remove that layer of stress. In addition to being weather-resistant, it’s worth noting that the KADALOCK can easily be used with existing water cages. The lock itself uses a tough but thin steel cable to wrap up the bike’s wheel to keep it safe. The product features Bluetooth LE  connectivity and can alert users when any kind of tampering is detected — so long as they’re nearby, of course. If an owner is out of range, and thus too far for notifications to be transmitted, the device has an embedded 80 decibel alarm that will scare n’er-do-wells away instead. The lock’s connectivity also allows users to share keys to their ride too, adding some useful functionality outside of protection. The KADALOCK can be had for $199, while early birds can get it for $119. The campaign is seeking to raise $50,000 goal by April 20. If successful, the product has an expected ship date of September 2015.

Another connected bike lock system worth mentioning is the Noke U-Lock. The Noke U-Lock that does everything the KADALOCK does, but with a few extra features to boot. Not only is the Noke cheaper than the KADLOCK, it also boasts GPS integration, a USB connection for charging in emergencies, and a physical companion key fob to go along with the digital keys.

Connected Objects Cycling

Noke smart U-lock protects your two-wheeler from a stealer

There have been no shortage of smart locks designed to protect the home. But many feel most at home on the road with two wheels hitting the road and a desire to protect what moves them there.

Just last fall, Fūz Designs introduced the Noke smart padlock that kept lockers closed to all but the right iPhone owner. Now the company has returned to Kickstarter with the Noke U-Lock. Evolving the electronics of the original into a shell that it calls “virtually indestructible,” the protective device  accommodates both bikes and motorcycles.

After pressing the unlock button on the device, the lock seeks out a smartphone with the right code in the companion app and disengages. Noke has also built functionality for lending a bike into the app and for revoking those lending privileges. Consumers can also track their bikes via GPS built into the product. Apple Watch compatibility is in the works. And bucking a trend, the company is even supporting Windows Phones in addition to iPhones and Android devices.

Sensors/IoT Tools

Noke turns smartphones into programmable skeleton keys for all your padlocking needs

The Premise. The potential of various innovations unlocked by technologies like smartphones and Bluetooth affect every aspect of life. Most items can be improved and made more convenient by leveraging these platforms, even things as simple as a padlock.

The Product. Noke looks like a simple padlock at first, but it has no slot for a physical key or a combination dial. After synchronizing a smartphone with the Noke lock, a click of the lock’s mechanism will have the padlock search for Bluetooth devices, authorizing the lock to open only in the presence of a smartphone with the appropriate security permissions. Permissions can be granted through the app to other phones on a scheduled, one-time, or recurring basis, giving more people access to whatever is locked up. Additionally, if a smartphone runs out of battery or isn’t available, a physical morse code unlocking pattern can be programmed in to give access in case of emergency.

The Pitch. Noke designer, FŪZ, clearly values a sense of aesthetic in their product, and that level of polish carries over to their campaign video as well. The passion and enthusiasm for Noke is easy to get swept up in, and the more in-depth look at the app featured in the campaign itself is likely to answer any lingering questions left over from watching the video introduction. FŪZ Designs needs $100,000 to bring Noke to the streets and pay for the device’s tooling.

The Perks. Noke is expected to release in February of 2015 for backers who pledge $59. The optional bike mount and cable is available at the $79 tier. The remaining tiers include multiple locks for bundle prices.

The Potential. Noke surprisingly isn’t the first padlock to try and enter the digital age, with MasterLock offering a combination lock with online functions already. What makes Noke different, however, is the complete reinvention of a lock-and-key system, the physical override in case of digital failure, and the additional benefit of being able to use such a high-tech device outside in any weather conditions. While certainly a neat idea, it does put a great deal of responsibility on FŪZ Designs to make sure that everything on their end with the app and the tap codes is extremely secure and unable to be reverse-engineered to inspire locker vandalism and bicycle theft sprees. If Noke is as secure as it is stylish and innovative, then the padlock may never be the same again.